Is there anything more annoying than the sound of water dripping from the spout of a faucet that you can’t fully shut off? Everyone has had to face this nuisance at one point or another. Apart from ruining your peace with the constant pitter-patter, these drips also result in wasted water and higher bills. In the worst scenario, leaky faucets may even lead to water damage.
The only good thing about leaky faucets is that they are generally easy to fix. However, before you roll up your sleeves and grab a wrench from your toolbox, you should figure out what’s causing your faucet to drip water constantly. Determining the cause behind the leak will also help you figure out whether you can repair it by yourself or need to hire a professional for help.
So without further ado, these are some of the most common reasons behind leaky faucets in your home.
A Damaged O-Ring
Have you ever noticed the small disc attached to the stem screw that holds the handle of a faucet in place? This circular component is called the O-ring. If you haven’t changed the O-ring of your faucet in quite some time, there is a good chance it may have become loose or worn out due to prolonged use. In most cases, this is the main culprit behind the drips – particularly in cartridge faucets.
Fortunately, replacing the O-ring is a relatively easy task. Moreover, O-rings are rather inexpensive and easily available at almost every hardware and plumbing store.
Mineral Build-Up and Corrosion
Corrosion due to mineral buildup is another likely reason why your faucet might be dripping water.
Faucets have an integral component known as a valve seat that connects the faucet to the spout. If your tap water contains minerals or other sediments, they might accumulate at the valve seat, causing it to rust. If the valve seat becomes damaged by the buildup, it may cause the spout to leak water. You can change the corroded component to stop the dripping, but it may become a recurring problem unless you regularly clean the valve seat.
Moreover, this mineral buildup can also affect your overall plumbing. Therefore, to avoid any bigger problems, consider contacting a reliable plumbing service such as My Guys to repair a leaky faucet and inspect other pipes.
Worn Out or Improperly Installed Washers
Washers are square or rectangular seals made of silicone or metal. They help control the flow of water in your faucet and are usually the reason behind continuous drips.
Every time you turn the faucet on, the washer gets forced against the valve seat, which may cause it to wear out or become loose. Its failure to seal the flow can result in water leaking from the spout, especially in compression faucets.
While replacing a washer is fairly easy, you may want to hire a professional plumber to repair a leaky faucet. as an improperly installed washer is just as bad as a damaged one. If you don’t want to subject yourself to another round of drips, it may be good to call an expert to fix the problem.
Strong Water Pressure
If more than one faucet in your home has started dripping, or you have noticed cracks in your plumbing or other fixtures, the strong water pressure may be at fault here.
Ideally, the water pressure for a home should be around 80 psi. However, once the pressure begins to increase and reaches 100 psi, you might start noticing different issues with your plumbing, such as constantly leaky faucets and broken pipes.
If you suspect the strong water pressure is causing the leaks, it would be best to schedule an inspection immediately. A qualified plumber will help fix all the plumbing issues and let you know if you can install a pressure regulator to solve the problem.
Last but not least, your faucet may be leaking due to a broken, damaged or missing part. A regular faucet consists of many different components. Though the O-rings, washers, and valve seats are the most common reasons behind leaky faucets, there could be various other problems keeping you from properly shutting off the tap.
How to Fix a Leaky Faucet?
Once you have figured out why your faucet may be leaking, it is time to repair it. However, before you disassemble your faucet, please make sure the issue doesn’t require professional assistance.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to repair a leaky faucet.
Step 1: Locate the main valves beneath the sink and turn them off by rotating them in the clockwise direction. Not turning off the water will result in more wastage. It will also make it impossible for you to fix the leak.
Step 2: Remove the decorative handles from the faucet using a flat-head screwdriver. You may also want to cover the drain to avoid losing any small screws.
Step 3: Unscrew the faucet handles using an appropriate screwdriver and lift them.
Step 4: Loosen the stem or cartridge of your faucet using a wrench. This may be a little tricky, so try referring to the faucet manual while undertaking this part of the project.
Step 5: Remove the stem or cartridge to inspect the O-ring and washer. If they appear damaged, please replace them.
Step 6: Thoroughly clean the valve seat to remove any sediment buildup.
Step 7: Reassemble the faucet and turn on the water supply to check if the leak has been fixed. In case the problem persists, call a professional plumber as soon as possible.
If you live in the Bedford area, please contact the experienced professionals at My Guys to fix all your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning issues. We have been in business since 1969, so whatever problem you are encountering, we will be able to take care of it.
To fix your leaky faucets or schedule other maintenance and repair services, please feel free to get in touch with us.